Individuals with chronic hypertension and history of Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery (CABG) are at increased risk for cognitive difficulties associated with subcortical changes.
The most typical complaints come from family members who complain that the patient appears slightly more impulsive, irritable, and less motivated than in previous years. As is the case of other conditions, this may be attributed to depression or difficulty adjusting to their life style changes.
While depression certainly may contribute to such problems, there is also some evidence that individuals with chronic hypertension or who have had cardiac bypass surgery experience neurological changes. A cerebral MRI for such patients is typically interpreted as having small vessel, subcortical, or even age-related subcortical changes. While any lesions are typically very small, they often affect the pathways that may result in “executive functioning” difficulties, as well as other problems.
For such individuals, a neuropsychological evaluation can be very useful at differentiating psychological versus cognitive changes that may be contributing to their problems. The results may be used for treatment recommendations, compensatory strategies, and differential diagnoses from other conditions (e.g., dementia, depression, etc.).
Please do not hesitate to call me with further questions at (860) 661-2089 or you may fax your referral to (860) 751-6232.